Kathleen Hart, wife of Dr. Archibald Hart, retired Professor of Psychology and former Dean of the Graduate School of Psychology, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California, asks this question in a counseling dvd I watched recently, "Who is in your grandstand?" It really opened my eyes to the importance of not putting myself, my parents, my husband, or anyone else in my grandstand. The only One who belongs there is Jesus Christ. This idea of "grandstand" assumes we're all performing for somebody's approval. I've been asking myself, "Are my decisions being influenced by God, by my own misguided self, or by the people whose opinions I value most?" When God is not my priority person, I make unwise decisions.
Kathleen Hart emphasized there should be only One in our grandstand, and His Name is Jesus Christ. When we "make it our goal to please Him" (2 Corin. 5:9, NIV), life works and we are happier children in the Lord. Our hearts, souls, minds, and spirits are freed up from trying to please others and from trying to fullfil our own selfish desires. Instead, we are filled with the peace and love of Jesus, and we begin to operate out of that sense of His loving, healing presence in our hearts. We seek guidance from His Holy Spirit and humbly submit to His perfect will. Living out of that guidance, love, and peace that guards our hearts and minds (Phil. 4:7, NIV), we become more of a positive influence to those around us. Instead of seeking the approval of others to fill our needs, we become people who have something of great value to offer--Christ Himself--the only One who truly satisfies our deepest, heart-felt desires, who heals our deepest wounds, who rebuilds minds, hearts, souls, and bodies, and restores broken relationships.
He makes all things new. (Rev. 21:5, KJV)